Brian Moynihan's job status improves

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Even as the stock was rallying, there was lots of talk last year about Brian Moynihan's tenure as CEO of Bank of America.

More than a few wondered if his days were numbered, but as of now, he would appear to have given himself a reprieve. The past 12 months are in the books, and Moynihan can proudly point to the bank's stock price, which more than doubled.

The stock price remains below tangible book value per share, but that matter's little. Moynihan has got the ball rolling and the board would have a tough time explaining a CEO switch now.

One analyst told the Financial Times that, "I think [Moynihan] definitely has some runway now because they've built credibility. He's got some time to show the earnings inflection. Over the next year or two that's the next benchmark he'll be measured against."

Moynihan cannot afford to sit on his laurels. The bank's capital position is strong, and all expect Federal Reserve approval of some sort of capital return activity in 2013. On top of that, the economic cycle has moved to the point that the bank has accelerated into growth mode.

After two years of focusing mainly on expenses, the bank is now aiming to really ramp up its lending growth, at the retail and wholesale level. We'll see if 2013 ends up being another breakout year. The analysts remain optimistic.

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